Thursday, 28 August 2014

Compassion - an essential ingredient for a better community. Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and Ballarat Interfaith Network come together to host an important conversation

Picture above:
Margaret Lenan Ellis (Public Relations Officer, Ballarat Interfaith Network),

Last Friday night, a successful interfaith public forum was held by the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and the Ballarat Interfaith Network around the topic of Compassion - an essential ingredient for a better community. The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E.) was the venue for the evening.  Here is a taste of what went on!

Table discussions ---- with food and friendliness.

Question time

Every war, every conflict between human beings has come about 
because of some argument about how things are described.
This craziness is totally unnecesary!

Just beyond the words that push us apart, a table waits. Hospitality. Companionship.
They wait for us to make ourselves comfortable.
What we praise is one!

It makes sense that the praise is also one!
So many jugs are emptied into an infinite basin.
So many religions. So much singing. Just one song!

The differences are merely illusion. Or maybe pride.
Sunlight itself looks slightly different on this wall rather than on that.
It may look quite different on a third. Yes, it’s just one light.
These clothes, these personalities: all borrowed from that same light.
When we praise with a full heart, we return light to Light. ------------- From Rumi

Video by Ian Hall

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Religions for Peace - Appeals from Sheik Majid (Iraqi Kuridsh Muslim & Honorary President of RfP) and His Holiness Louis Raphael Sako (Christian Chaldean Patriarch of Babyton and Co-President of RF)

 August 2014

Esteemed Religions for Peace Colleagues: 

Warm greetings. 

Adding to the great sufferings of peoples in the Middle East-North Africa Region are the currently unfolding events in Iraq. 

H.E. Sheikh Majid Hafeed, an Iraqi Kurdish Muslim and Honorary President of Religions for Peace International, has contacted our International Secretariat strongly calling for intervention and support to protect the Yazidis in the town of Sinjar, northern Iraq.  

They are currently undergoing an attack by the ISIS / ISIL terrorist group.  Sheikh Majid reports to us that thousands have been massacred, hundreds of thousands have fled and their homes and shops have been looted and burned.  You will find Sheikh Majid's appeal (in Arabic) here

His Holiness Louis Raphael Sako, the Christian Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon and a Co-President of Religions for Peace International, has also contacted us with an urgent appeal for the 100,000 Christians who have fled their homes toward the Kurdish cities of Erbil, Duhok and Soulaymiya.  You will find Patriarch Sako's appeal here

In response, Religions for Peace is transmitting these appeals to the President of the United Nations Security Council, urging that the Security Council take appropriate measures to protect these innocent people. 

In addition, allow me also to request that all members of Religions for Peace around the world hold these suffering peoples in their prayers.  Let each of us pray in accord with her or his own tradition in solidarity with all across this region who are struggling to bear unbearable suffering. 

Yours in solidarity for Peace,

Dr. Vendley signature
Dr. William Vendley
Secretary General
Religions for Peace

RELIGIONS FOR PEACE--the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition-advances common action among the world's religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; five regional inter-religious bodies and ninety national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network. 

777 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212 687-2163 Fax: 212 983-0098 

BTC Editor's Note:The area of the warfare mentioned above is in one of the oldest parts of human history in the world.  War has diminished and eradicated much of this evidence. Readers will remember the looting of the National Museum of Iraq in 2003.  Readers will also recalled the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyah in 2001.  The heritage of these ancient civilisations are not only informative and precious to the peoples in whose regions they are situated.  They are precious to all of us.  The references used in the production of these antiquities are references to all of humanity.  Human life to-day is of vital importance to all of us.  So is our shared and ancient histories.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Multifaith Perspectives Program - free radio and media training for young people

Received from Faith Communities Council of Victoria ~~~

SYN is looking for young people of diverse faith backgrounds for The Multifaith Perspectives Program. You can receive FREE radio and media training AND the opportunity to promote understanding and acceptance in the community on your own live radio show.

Participants will receive:

- FREE radio and media training

- The opportunity to be part of a weekly radio program Saturday afternoons on SYN Radio

- Form your own program as a group - make the content YOU want to make.

- 1 year SYN membership and support

- A chance to make new friends, learn new skills and have fun as part of the SYN community

SYN is looking for anyone aged 12-25 interested in multifaith/interfaith dialogue. No prior experience necessary.

This project is supported by funding from the Victorian Multicultural Commission under their "Promoting Harmony - Multifaith/Interfaith Grants"

To apply go to:

Applications close August 25.

For more information contact Danae Gibson, Diversity Programming Coordinator:
Direct Line: 03 9925 4192  Mobile: 0439 384 569  E-mail:

Monday, 4 August 2014

Faith Communities Council of Victoria - eNews August 2014

Below is a tasty teaser:

Deepening understanding - Dr Michalis S. Michael speaks about why we need to work together - Melton Interfaith Network

Melton Interfaith Network invites you to:
Faith in Meltona collaborative forum between faiths
Date: Tuesday 5 August, 2014    Time: 7.15pm – 9pm
Location: Balam Balam room, ground floor - Melton Library and Learning Hub, 31 McKenzie Street, Melton
Guest Speaker: Dr Mich├ílis S. Michael
Senior Research Fellow & Deputy Director, Centre for Dialogue Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University
Speaking on Interfaith: why we need to work together

Dr Michael’s work seeks to deepen our understanding of the increasingly complex and often volatile social, political and cultural environments. He explores dialogue as a way to bring differing groups together to explore alternative visions. His work provides both governmental and non-governmental agencies with new possibilities for defusing polarisation and maximising the prospects for constructive engagement, through mutually enriching intercultural, interfaith and interethnic dialogue.
All welcome. Food provided. To assist with catering, please RSVP your dietary requirements by 29 July 2014 -  Ring our Secretary: David Cowan on 0424 125 690.
  • Car park at rear and street parking at front of building
  • Disability accessible venue, including disability parking at rear and front of building
  • Need an interpreter? Please let us know
This forum is proudly supported by Melton City Council and Victorian Multicultural Commission
About Melton Interfaith Network
  • Our Mission: A cohesive, tolerant and harmonious community
  • Our Vision: To promote respect, understanding, cooperation and appreciation for the many religious and faith traditions within our community

The Legacy of Rev Prof Robert Anderson - The Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria)

The Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria) invites you to:

The Annual Sr Shirley Sedawie Oration on:

The Legacy of Rev Prof Robert Anderson AM
Delivered by Dr John Bodycomb, OAM

Date: Sunday, 10 August 2014  Time: 2:30pm
Location: The Danglow Centre, St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, 12 Charnwood Grove, St Kilda, VIC 3182

The Rev Dr John Bodycomb is a Uniting Church minister, in active retirement.  He has been religious educator, university chaplain and dean of a theological school, as well as minister with congregations in Australia, the USA and New Zealand.  His doctorate is in the sociology of religion.  He was a close friend of Professor Robert Anderson and was on the staff of the Uniting Church Theological Hall with him.

For further information please contact Liz Parker at:
The Council of Christians and Jews (Vic) Inc.
326 Church Street, Richmond  VIC  3121
Telephone/Fax:  (03)  9429 5212, Email:

Compassion - an essential ingredient for a better community

From Margarent Lenan Ellis, 
Public Relations Officer - Ballarat Interfaith Network ~~~

Ballarat Interfaith Network (BIN) is delighted to partner with the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council (BRMC) in hosting an Interfaith Forum calling for Compassion as an Essential Ingredientfor a Better Community.

This public forum, to be held at M.A.D.E. on Friday 22 August at 6pm, presents the opportunity to hear speakers from diverse faith backgrounds offer spiritual insight into the healing and enabling power of compassion – within ourselves, our families, communities and nations of the world.

By juxtaposing Ghandi’s quote on the forum flier: Be the Change you want See in the World with a topic calling for increased compassion as a way of implementing positive change, this interfaith forum invites all attending to both hear and contribute to deeply purposeful discussion. 

Following introduction of the topic by the guest speakers, everyone will have the opportunity to respond to and discuss the topic with others in the audience.

Such discussions can be stimulating, revelatory and even challenging – catalysts for change within ourselves, and our own fields of influence.

We hope you take the time to join BRMC and BIN in participating in this Interfaith Forum at M.A.D.E.  (102 Stawell St Sth, Ballarat) at 6pm on Friday 22 August.

What is a Quaker?